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Yeah, so I’m not at all liking this SCOTUS ruling. You can argue it any way that you want, that it only applies to birth control, that it only applies to closely held corporations, that it only hurts women & women, unlike corporations or fetuses are not real people.

And you’d be right.
Maybe except for the women thing…maybe.
Actually, no, legally it doesn’t really seem like women are people does it?
And you’d probably be right on that assumption as well.

The thing is that we have the 1st Amendment that separates church & state.

Fine, your right, nowhere in the Constitution or the 1st Amendment does it say that there is a separation of church & state. It actually doesn’t mention that at all. I know for a fact, the 1st Amendment is the most important & therefore, the only Amendment that I’ve memorized to the last comma & period.

What it actually says is this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, I’d like to say that I think it is the most important Amendment because of religion, I mean, my dad is a Jew & mom is a Catholic Biddy, which pretty much made me a Catholic. Catholicism, if your Irish, is sort of a birth right & Oliver Cromwell didn’t sentence mommy’s clan to death for no good reason whatsoever.

I’d like to say that, growing up with a Jewish-Catholic parentage you learn to respect other people’s religions…even when you had the misguided desire to become a priest when you were little. That might be true. But that’s really not the reason that I have taken the time to memorize the 1st Amendment like it was the word of G_d himself…herself?…itself?.

Whatever.

The truth is that this little section is why I hold it sacrosanct : [Congress shall make no law] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

American’s say that guns keep us free when in fact, it’s really that I can say whatever politically charged thing that I want to & not be locked up for it…anymore…fake cough…St. Paul RNC.

It’s the reason why I think hate speech should be perfectly legal. It is a black & white issue. Either you support the Freedom of Speech in all ways & forms or you don’t support the Freedom of Speech. You cannot have it any other way.

That’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the Separation of Church & State.

Nope, it is nowhere in the Constitution. It actually comes from a letter.

What?

The phrase “Separation of Church & State” is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to a Baptists from Connecticut, & published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter.

Virginia to Connecticut to Massachusetts to common culture.

The phrase “Separation of Church & State,” is just how we interpret that first part of the 1st Amendment.

You know: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It’s sort of like the 2nd Amendment, which, if it was really as important as the gun nuts say it is, would have came first.

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The wording implies that, for the right to bear arms, you kind of have to be in a well regulated militia, but that’s not how we interpret it, is it? We seem to forget that first part & instead focus on the second.

With the first Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” We sort of take that whole sentence & break it down to Jefferson’s “Separation of Church & State.”

It’s a fair enough break down. Essentially it is saying that we can’t make laws that establish a religion or prohibit a religious exercise. It’s just a wordy way of implying that, with government & religion, never the two shall meet.

But what SCOTUS has done is, honestly, upheld the 1st Amendment. Congress, the US government is NOT forcing anyone to follow a religion or a religious practice. There is nothing in that ruling that suggests that the government is establishing a religion or prohibiting the practice there of.

However, what it did say is that a corporation CAN establish a religion & it can force its religious practices on its employees.

Remember, corporations in America are people & it seems that now the religion of a corporation trumps the religion of a person.

Now it is true, mom’s side of the family has been known to engage in an 800 year religious war & fight everyone from Henry to Cromwell to Thatcher. She might have relatives rotting away in jail at the moment. The thing is, they were smart enough to stop the whole religious thing. Now it is a nationalistic war. Over there it is the Irish versus the English.

That’s right, even in Ireland the belligerents…former belligerents…aren’t forcing their religion on people anymore.

And the American government isn’t either.

What they are doing, however, is allowing a corporation to force its religions practices onto its employees.

SCOTUS has ruled that it would be infringing on a corporation’s 1st Amendment Rights to NOT allow them to establish a religion at work & force their employees to follow their practices. It has ruled that infringing on an employee’s 1st Amendment right is protected under the 1st Amendment. Government can’t do it, but a corporation can.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Congress can’t do that, it is clear enough, but now corporations can make laws respecting an establishment of religion & force the employees to follow those laws.

Corporations are people. People without bodies, without minds, without souls, & yet they now have religion & can force real flesh & blood human beings to follow their religious principals.

Let me put it to you this way. I’m Catholic, I am Pro-choice. But I really hate the idea of abortion, unless it is to save the mother’s life, I don’t even care if it’s rape or incest, the idea, religiously disgusts me.

Politically, I’m militantly pro-choice? Do you know why? Because I respect the 1st Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

If I were to politically side with the anti-abortion crowd, even on moral grounds, I’d be doing it because I’m Catholic. I cannot argue for any laws that oppose abortion because I would be arguing against the 1st Amendment. Abortion & religion are locked together in my mind & effect my moral judgment. Therefore, Any anti-abortion laws will, honestly, be a “law respecting an establishment of religion.” I can’t support it.

The 1st Amendment has forced me into the pro-choice bed. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, I realize that, but without the 1st Amendment, I might not have the right to be Catholic. Dad might not have the right to be Jewish & my little sister certainly won’t have the right to believe that New Age garbage with the crystals & the what-nots & the magic spells that don’t really work.

In other words, none of us would have the right to practice our preferred means of self-delusion & bull shit.

Thanks to the 1st Amendment, I get to go into church every Sunday & try not to giggle when I look at Jesus on the Cross & get that song from The Life of Brian stuck in my head. Thank you Monty Python, because of you I can’t go into church & not laugh.

You know you do it too. You can’t watch that movie & not laugh at a crucifix. Especially in suburban churches where Christ has blond hair & looks sort of like Graham Chapman…you know, because Jesus was a white man from Oxford…as Izzard talked about

But now, unfortunately, the door has been opened. Corporations can make laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The government cannot, but that’s doesn’t matter does it? The flood gates have been opened. You might not have to follow a state mandated religion, but you do have to follow whatever religion the corporation you work for pretends to follow.

In other words, you won’t be thrown in jail for being a Catholic or a Jew, but, if you want to eat, if you want a roof over your head, if you want to feed your children & keep whatever health insurance is left after it is gutted on religious grounds, you have to practice whatever your boss tells you to.

The religious rights of the corporation have trumped the religious rights of the individual.

It’s surprising, it’s a conservative ruling. The right, the people that worship Rand, Objectivism, & individuality, are the ones that are claiming that it is a victory to trump the rights of the individual for the rights of the corporation.

And the thing is, with Citizen’s United & that ruling, it seems that corporations are getting more rights than people. Real people. People made out of flesh & blood. People with souls to save by worshiping G­_d or Shiva or Cthulhu.

We have already concluded that corporations have more free speech rights than real people & now we have concluded that they have more religious rights than people as well, to the point where they can legally force their religious practices on their employees.

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